Oct. 31, 2013
BEAUMONT, Texas -
Lamar Game Notes
Nicholls State Game Notes
The Lamar Cardinal football team returns to the friendly confines of Provost Umphrey Stadium Saturday to face Southland foe Nicholls State. The Cardinals (3-5/0-3 SLC) will be looking to end a three-game skid to start the 2013 league schedule. Nicholls State is currently 4-4 (.500) on the season, but only a game in front of Lamar in the Southland standings. Saturday's kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.
The Cardinals have had a great deal success against Nicholls State throughout their history posting a 4-1 (.800) overall record, including a perfect 2-0 mark since Lamar brought back the program, but the 2013 version of the Colonels is a vastly improved team. Although the Colonels enter the game ranked near the bottom of the conference in total offense and defense, those numbers are misleading when looking at their results. Nicholls held FBS foe Western Michigan to only 23 points in Kalamazoo before recording a 27-23 victory over the Broncos. The Colonels have also hung 41 and 30-point outings in conference setbacks to Stephen F. Austin and McNeese State this season. The Colonels also have one of the league's better rushing teams averaging nearly 210 yards per game.
"I think both teams will be coming into this game with a similar type urgency," said head coach Ray Woodard. "It is going to be a hard fought game where you will see both teams leaving it all on the field, and that is how important this game is.
"Nicholls is a team that is going to put a lot of points on the scoreboard. They were very impressive against Northwestern (State) earlier this year, and picked up one of the conference's biggest wins of the season when they knocked of Western Michigan. I'm really impressed with how far they have come in the past two years. This is a good football team," said Woodard.
A side note to Saturday's game will be junior quarterback Caleb Berry and freshman running back Kade Harrrington. The Lamar duo is on the verge of setting some individual records. Harrington needs only 34 rushing yards to break Sammy Carpenter's record of 607 yards set during the 1951 season. Berry enters Saturday with 20 touchdown passes on the season. He is only two TD passes shy of breaking Larry Haynes' 34-year old record of 21.
The Cardinals continue to have the Southland's strongest defenses, which is being led by senior defensive end Jesse Dickson. The Houston native is the igniter for a defense that sits atop the conference in total (350.2 ypg) and pass defense (166.4 ypg). Dickson has recorded a team-high 63 total tackles this season which ranks fifth in the conference, but he is the league's top defensive lineman in terms of tackles. In fact Dickson is the only defensive lineman among the league's top-20 leading tacklers. He also ranks first in tackles for losses and is tied for second in the league in sacks.
"When you talk about Lamar you can't focus on the record," said Nicholls State head coach Charlie Stubbs during the league's weekly teleconference. "They have been in all of those contests, and they are a very good team. Lamar is a very balanced team.
"We are going to have to run the football because it helps our team. We are kind of battered and bruised on defense, and part of our recipe for success against Northwestern State was being able to find a way to run the football - controlling time of possession. We can't go three-and-out against a defense like Lamar," added Stubbs.
Saturday will also serve as Military Appreciation Day on the campus. Members of the U.S. Coast Guard will perform the pre-game coin toss. In addition, a U.S. Coast Guard member will also receive the game ball. The recognition of the military will continue with a special halftime performance by the Lamar Marching Band. Current active duty members and retired military personnel will receive free admission to the game with a valid ID.